Timothy J. Mullins

Timothy J. Mullins: Attorney with Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C. AV stamp icon
  • Board of Directors, Government Law and Insurance Defense Sections at Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C. (55 Attorneys)
  • Tenth Floor Columbia Center, 101 West Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48084-5280
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Mr. Timothy Mullins has been successfully representing Michigan public school districts for more than thirty years. Mr. Mullins’ representation of public school districts includes: employment discrimination, constitutional litigation, general education, special education, personal injury, serious school bus accidents, workers’ compensation and more.

Mr. Mullins’ practice includes the entire State of Michigan. He has successfully argued cases in front of the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the numerous state trial courts and administrative agencies.

By way of brief example, the following are significant published opinions from cases Mr. Mullins successfully litigated:

Camburn v Jackson Community Schools, 459 Mich 471; 592 NW2d 46 (1999)
Tarlea v Saline Area Schools, 263 Mich App 80; 687 NW2d 333 (2004)(one of the most frequently cited governmental immunity cases in Michigan)
Beard v Whitmore Lake School Dist, 402 F3d 598 (6th Cir. 2005)(holding that the School District was entitled to immunity when it conducted strip searches of numerous students)
Mino v Clio School Dist, 255 Mich App 60; 661 NW2d 586 (2003)(deciding the seminal case on a school district’s obligation to disclose a former employee’s unprofessional conduct, which resulted in the lawsuit being dismissed)
Baker v Pinckney Community Schools, 477 Mich 1097; 729 NW2d 520 (2007)(the Michigan Supreme Court reversed the lower courts and dismissed lawsuit because the superintendent was entitled to absolute governmental immunity)
Reaume v Jefferson Middle School, 477 Mich 1109; 729 NW2d 840 (2007)(another frequently cited governmental immunity lawsuit decided by the Supreme Court in favor of the school district)

While Mr. Mullins has substantial expertise in school law, he also represents a wide variety cities, counties, universities, hospitals, manufacturers, professional corporations and other entities, in conjunction with both insured and self-insured programs.

For 30 years, Mr. Mullins has had an “AV” Peer Review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest ranking by peers for general ethical standards and legal ability.

He has been selected by his peers as a Michigan Super Lawyer in liability defense. Mr. Mullins has also been included in Best Lawyers by US News, as well as being listed as a dBusiness “Top Lawyer.”


•“AV” Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest ranking by peers for general ethical standards and legal ability, 35+ years
•U. S. News Best Lawyers
•Michigan Super Lawyers
•dBusiness “Top Lawyers”
•Recognized as a Top Attorney in Michigan by the New York Times
•Leading Lawyers


Timothy Mullins recently quoted in Crain’s Detroit Business article online.

Nov 07, 2012 Uncategorized

Attorneys: Snyder’s terms likely to pass legal test

Gov. Rick Snyder’s draft consent agreement placing Detroit under a proposed financial advisory board has some unconventional terms, but it would likely stand up to a legal challenge, local municipal attorneys said.

One provision states that “any action by the city ... or its unions to contest, through legal proceedings or otherwise,” the power of the board or the validity of a controversial 2011 state law under review in court would scrap the pact in favor of a state-appointed emergency manager or a municipal bankruptcy.

Another states that a “material uncured breach” of agreement by Detroit would empower state Treasurer Andy Dillon to immediately put the city in receivership.

A third allows the agreement to continue even if Public Act 4, the state law allowing the state to declare a financial emergency and appoint an emergency manager of local governments, is overturned in court or by voter referendum.

Municipal attorneys agreed those provisions are unusual, but defensible.

“It’s not standard language, because this is not a standard area of practicing law for cities. I can understand the purpose of it, though,” said Timothy Mullins, partner at Giarmarco Mullins & Horton PC in Troy.

“If you enter into a consent agreement and then find later that if one party or portions of that party don’t continue to consent to the agreement, the state can still go back to its original position as allowed (by Public Act 4). It’s not standard, but it still makes good sense to include.”

Steven Joppich, partner at Farmington Hills-based Johnson Rosati Schultz & Joppich PC and municipal attorney for Farmington Hills and Independence Township, could not recall any municipal agreement with such an expansive protest clause. But he also said he hasn’t fully researched Detroit’s agreement.

“I can’t say I’ve ever crafted an agreement with a provision like it. But you do draft an agreement at the beginning in a manner that best serves your client,” he said. “I ... could see an attorney for the state being concerned with protecting (Act 4’s powers).”

The Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice last year sued on behalf of a group of Michigan citizens, saying Public Act 4 violates the state constitution, in a case now before the Michigan Supreme Court. Stand Up for Democracy, a coalition of labor organizations and some churches and community groups, submitted more than 225,000 signatures in a petition to put the law before voters in November.

Mullins said the unusual provisions could be part of the state’s efforts to frame the agreement so as not to inadvertently surrender any of its Public Act 4 powers. Thomas McGraw, municipal law attorney and president of Troy-based McGraw Morris PC, said the agreement gives the state little or no power that Public Act 4 didn’t already bestow.

“The reality is, the state has the right to appoint an emergency manager,” McGraw said. “The document as constructed is a (voluntary) peace offering from the state as it is, and if you don’t want to abide by it, the state is already within its rights.”

- Chad Halcom

Timothy Mullins

Areas of Practice (5)

  • Government Law
  • Insurance Defense
  • Litigation
  • Municipal
  • Workers' Compensation

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
(248) 457-7020  Phone
University Attended:
Wayne State University, B.A., with distinction, 1974
Law School Attended:
Detroit College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1977
Year of First Admission:
1977, Michigan State Bar; 1978, U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan; 1993, Michigan Special Assistant Attorney General; 1981, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit; 1997, U.S. Supreme Court


•The American Bar Association
•The Michigan State Bar Association
•The Michigan Trial Lawyers Association
•The Oakland, Macomb and Detroit Bar Associations
•The National School Boards Association
•The Defense Research Institute

Birth Information:
Detroit, Michigan, August 4, 1951

Peer Reviews

A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Troy, Michigan

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    Troy, MI
    Tenth Floor Columbia Center , 101 West Big Beaver Road
    Troy, MI 48084-5280

    (248) 457-7020 Phone

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